Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cute fabrics

I forgot to say in my last post that my sister sent me up some discount fat quarter packs from her local shop in Victoria. In fact, lots of packs:

It includes a lot of nice blenders, as well as some very cute novelty and Christmas fabrics:

So I'm going to have to start doing something about all this fabric accumulation and get some projects going!

More scrumptious kits

I really must stop buying things. But then again, these were a great bargain, so I almost couldn't afford not to buy them. And they are just what I like .....

I love kits because I don't have to waste time trying to find the right fabrics, they're all there for me! And I love quick, simple patterns like these. I wish I had the patience and skill to make a really detailed, complicated quilt but I find if I don't finish things in a day or so, I put them aside and forget about them or else lose interest. So I prefer either small projects, or quickly pieced ones like these. And I just love gorgeous floral fabrics! So these are just perfect for me.

Monday, January 26, 2009

In the garden this morning

Here are some pillowslips I made yesterday. They are a little crumpled cos I used them last night. It was lovely to sleep on crisp, clean new pillowslips.

This morning I did some weeding in the vegetable gardens. I've been avoiding it because with the weird weather - hot and wet - we've been having, the weeds have just taken over so quickly, it would be impossible to pull them out without pulling out real plants as well. So I wanted to wait until the plants were ready to come out too.

I harvested some little onions and am soaking them to pickle. I also harvested some kipfler and Dutch cream potatoes - the kiplfer are on top in this bucket:

And got the last cucumbers off my dying vines:

I'm a bit worn out and sore now, so I'll be having lunch then a rest I think.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Will I make it?

If I can get my act together and finish quilting and binding this little lap quilt in the next few days, this will be my January project for the one project a month challenge. I just love these fabrics.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A shabby Christmas Wish

I haven't seemed to get much done today, despite good intentions. But I did manage an hour or two in front of a DVD this afternoon to try Gail Pan's design in shabby colours. I really like this design. And if I manage to keep up doing both colourways, I should have a little quilt for me and one for a gift in time for Christmas this year!

A Christmas Wish

I have decided to join the throngs taking part in Gail Pan's free stitchery BOM - A Christmas Wish. Here is my first block above. Can't wait for the next one. I'm thinking of doing a second version in pastel florals instead of traditional Christmas colours - maybe substituting pinks for red and mint for green? Hopefully I'll have time to play with this idea today.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Two tops finished

Here are those hand-dyed blocks I mentioned earlier, put into a simple wallhanging quilt top.

And here are my winter blocks. I still have a spare snowman block I can use for a label on the back. I kind of messed this one up ..... no, I REALLY messed this one up. I couldn't figure out why my blocks just weren't going together and was trying easing, re-sewing, cursing, even pintucking, and did I mention cursing? And then I realised that some of the strips I used for the sashings I had cut at 1 1/2" when all the rest were 1". So it is a bit messy, and my sashings are wonky, but I can live with it.

And oh look there's more

Found some more to add to my challenge pile.
This was a Christmas 6" block swap from a few years ago. Some of these blocks are just so gorgeous and beautifully embellished:

And a Winter 6" block swap

I had forgotten about this next swap. This was a house swap. We all made a block of our house and sent it off with a description of our house and garden. The other swappers then made a block representing one of your favourite things about your home.

This was my house block:

And here is a bookshelf block, as I love reading. This is so cute! Can you read the titles?

These blocks represent my vegetable garden, the cockatoos who eat my grapefruits, and my orange tree.

And here is a close up of the orange tree, because it even has Sugar and Spice frolicking underneath it!

And Sugar and Spice also make an appearance in this block of my fireplace ...... so does a mouse unfortunately. (What did I put in my house description??!!). And of course, one of my vintage sewing machines.

All of these blocks, including the Christmas and Winter ones, were made by the talented, generous women of Patch and Chat.

One project a month nominees

I rummaged around in a drawer this morning to find some old block swap blocks, to nominate as my UFOs for the one project a month challenge. They weren't the ones I was actually looking for, so I must have another stash of block swap UFOs somewhere but I guess I'll stumble across them eventually.

I came across these sets of nine-patch blocks, a stack each of brown, blue and green. One of the Australian online quilting groups - it may have been Quilters Down Under, I can't remember - had a swap a few years ago where you made nine patches each month but each month in a different colour. I think I dropped out when it got to a month where I didn't have much of that colour in my stash!

I also took part in an Angel block swap, but wasn't really happy with the blocks so didn't do anything with them. Not that the blocks aren't nice, it is just that they are all different styles - country, cute or religious - they just don't go together.

And look at this! This was a swap of small crazy log cabins and pinwheels in hand-dyed fabrics. It looks like I started putting them together and then stopped .... can't remember why, because all of the different blocks look fabulous together! I'll definitely have to finish this one.

Now, I just have to work out where the rest of my block swap UFOs are.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Some very poor photography

I had trouble getting a decent photo of the quilt top I was working on last weekend. My grass is all crunchy and tufty so I couldn't get it to lie down flat .....
And to top it off this little bee took a liking to it:
It wouldn't fit on the washing line without draping all over the ground, and even doubled up, it is too bright and breezy to get a good pic:

So I will try again later!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New quilt started

I've started on one of my gorgeous new kits today .... I've changed it slightly - the blocks were meant to have a tiny nine-patch in the centre but with such soft, pastel fabrics, such small fabric pieces weren't very noticeable, so I decided to just make a 3" square instead. Besides, I am lazy, and this is easier.

I need to trim my blocks and then put the sashings and borders on. I hate trimming blocks to size, but mine are always all wonky. I don't know if it is my cutting or sewing that is off, or both, but it looks like I am going to have to trim to 12 1/4" rather than 12 1/2", the intended block size. Luckily, I haven't cut my sashings or borders yet so I don't need to recut anything else to fit.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sneak Peek

I can't show what I have been working on as it is for the Valentines swap, so here are just a few glimpses:

Friday, January 9, 2009

Oooh, lots of goodies

I bought a bunch of yummy goodies from a friend who was having a bit of a clean up. So much gorgeousness, I just can't stop looking at these and wondering where to start .....

I am thinking of using some of these Faded Memories fabrics to make something for my Valentine Swap partner, they are such sweet, romantic fabrics:

And these will come in handy for the B&W challenge:

And these kits are all so lovely I don't know which to make first. I think I will nominate all three kits for my one a month UFO challenge, and see if I can complete them all by the end of the year:

And has everyone seen the free BOM Bunny Hill is hosting? The first block is so cute and could be made in so many different styles and colours. This will definitely be on my to-do list for 2009.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Great Minds Think Alike!

I recently decided that no matter how tired or busy or stressed I am, I have to spend more time on my crafting. I just realised that is the thing that gives me the most fulfilment and enjoyment in life .... apart from snuggling puppies .... so I have to make the effort for myself.

So to inspire me, I decided to join up for some challenges. I joined up for the Black and White Challenge a few weeks ago .... but only just remembered Jackie had emailed me asking me for further info and I had forgotten to reply! So I have done that now and am officially registered.

I also signed up for Dandelion Quilts' Valentines Swap. That should really get me motivated as this one is due in a month!

And I was just visiting Toni's blog and saw that she has signed up for the B&W challenge too (hence the post title), plus another one to finish one WISP/UFO a month. So I had to join this one too! With all of this inspiration, I should be making more time for crafting in 2009!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New bag

Wow, I finally managed to get a little sewing done today. And you know what, my mood is a little brighter now too. It's amazing what a little crafting therapy can do.

I started playing with a jelly roll not sure what I was going to make .... a cushion? a pillow? a table runner? But finally ended up putting together this sweet tote. Isn't this fabric just adorable? I've been saving this up for a special project and I am so glad I did. I love the musky country colours.

I had already made a few suffolk puffs from a pack of charm squares from the same fabric range, so I incorporated these as well. A few just for decoration, like these blue ones across the top. But the other tan one is to hide the stitching of a velcro dot used to secure the opening of the front patch pocket.

And lots more pockets inside, each one secured with another velcro dot, and tidied up with another puff. And another velcro dot to close the bag. Gee, these velcro dots are great. They are self-adhesive so they stay in place without pins while I stitch them.